February 1, 2015 10:11 AM EST
A 3-year-old boy in New Mexico shot his parents Saturday after he reached into his mother’s purse for an iPod but fired a loaded handgun instead, police said.
The gun was fired once, and the bullet struck the boy’s father in the buttock, traveled through his hip, and struck the pregnant mother in the arm, the
Albuquerque Journal reports. Both are expected to survive.
The shooting occurred in a room at America’s Best Value Inn in Albuquerque, where the family, which also includes a 2-year-old girl, was staying. Police found a 9-mm handgun in the motel room.
The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department has taken custody of the two children. Police recommended that the parents be charged with criminal negligence.
“The child did the damage, but it was because of the negligence of the adults that the child was able to do this,” said Albuquerque police department spokesman Simon Drobik. “If you are going to be a gun owner, you need to lock it up and keep it safe, especially around children.”
Go Inside the Lives of Families Affected by Gun Violence Family members gather around Albert Vaughn’s coffin to say goodbye. “Lil Al” was beaten to death with a baseball bat by Nathaniel Tucker. The conflict began when Vaughn, 18, confronted Tucker’s cousin, who had gotten into an argument with Vaughn’s younger brother. Englewood, Chicago, 2008. Carlos Javier Ortiz In Memory of Nugget. Seven years after the death of Siretha White, her family celebrates her birthday. She would have been 18 years old that March. Siretha’s family never got to cut the cake at her 11th birthday party, the day she was killed. Englewood, Chicago, 2013.
Side caption: Siretha White’s cake, on what would have been her 18th birthday. Carlos Javier Ortiz The Bud Billiken parade, the oldest African-American parade in the country, kicks off the new school year and celebrates black life in Chicago. Washington Park, Chicago, 2013. Carlos Javier Ortiz Alex Arellano, 15, was shot and burned after being hit with bats and then struck by a car that was chasing him. Gage Park, Chicago, 2009.
Side caption: Burn marks in the gangway where 15-year-old Alex Arellano was murdered. Carlos Javier Ortiz Girls in the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side attend a block party to celebrate the lives of Starkeisha Reed, 14, and Siretha White, 10. Starkeisha and Siretha were killed days apart in March 2006. The girls’ mothers were friends, and both grew up on Honore Street, where the celebration took place. Englewood, Chicago, 2008. Carlos Javier Ortiz A view of the historic Oak Woods Cemetery on Chicago’s South Side. Oak Woods Cemetery is the final resting place of many of the young people who are victims of violence in Chicago. Joseph Briggs was one of eight people killed in a weekend of shootings that left more than 40 people wounded. Briggs, who turned 16 in April 2012, was shot in the head during a drive-by shooting while he was sitting on his front porch. Greater Grand Crossing, Chicago, 2012. Carlos Javier Ortiz The mother of Fakhur Uddin, a 20-year old college student who was bound with duct tape and shot in the back of the head inside his family’s Philadelphia store, collapses to the ground and weeps as police investigate the scene. Germantown, Philadelphia, 2008. Carlos Javier Ortiz Angry community members, business owners and church pastors marched through Chicago’s South Side to protest the overwhelming numbers of murders that took place in October of that year. Greater Grand Crossing, Chicago, 2009. Carlos Javier Ortiz Rapper Young DBoy Low and his friends shoot a video with the help of Project Spitfire, a nonprofit that uses music to help young people break free of the vicious cycle of gangs, drugs and violence. The group pairs young musicians with professional producers who help them record songs and videos. Bronzeville, Chicago, 2011.
Side caption: Rapper Young DBoy Low shoots a video with Project Spitfire, a non-profit that uses music to help young people break the cycle of violence. Gun imagery permeates the imagination on a video shoot. Carlos Javier Ortiz Boys play in an empty lot where homes once stood. Today, all that remains are trees and broken glass surrounded by abandoned homes. Englewood, Chicago, 2007. Carlos Javier Ortiz Kids jump off a trampoline during a block party. Auburn Gresham, Chicago, 2013. Carlos Javier Ortiz Arthur Burgess, 19, of the 500 block of East 32nd Street, was shot on a cold winter night and died at the scene. His friend was shot twice but survived. Englewood, Chicago, 2009. Carlos Javier Ortiz Albert Vaughn was the neighborhood guardian, the older teenager who would play ball with the younger kids and try to keep them safe from trouble. About 50 of his friends and family members gathered to remember “Lil Al” on the block where he was killed. Englewood, Chicago, 2008. Carlos Javier Ortiz Members of St. Sabina Church in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood pray to end violence in Chicago. More than 40 young people have been murdered in the neighborhood since 2006. Auburn Gresham, Chicago, 2013. Carlos Javier Ortiz Chicago’s lakefront is a frequent hang-out for youth during the summer months, but many young people have never been outside of their neighborhoods,
let alone to the beaches along the lake. Near South Side, Chicago, 2006. Carlos Javier Ortiz Victims of violence are often memorialized with T-shirts made by their friends and relatives. This is a photograph of a victim for use in his memorial T-shirt. Lawndale, Chicago, 2008. Carlos Javier Ortiz
] Albuquerque Journal More Must-Reads From TIME Inside the White House Program to Share America's Secrets Meet the 2024 Women of the Year East Palestine, One Year After Train Derailment The Closers: 18 People Working to End the Racial Wealth Gap Long COVID Doesn’t Always Look Like You Think It Does Column: The New Antisemitism The 13 Best New Books to Read in March Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time